A severe trauma or being prolonged or repeatedly exposed to traumatic events can affect the mood and feelings of children and adolescents. For example, children and adolescents are sad, no longer enjoy things or activities they used to, or are tired and exhausted all the time. Attempts by friends and family to cheer them up usually don’t succeed or are only successful in the short term.
Many children and adolescents also often think bad about themselves and have no trust in their own abilities. They feel:
- hopeless and flawed
- permanently emotionally damaged
- or see themselves as a “bad” person
- Take an interest in your child’s life and make time to be able to give your child your undivided attention.
- Take your child’s concerns and worries seriously.
- Support your child in taking up a hobby (again) and meeting up with friends again.
- Encourage brave behavior in your child and reinforce and reward it when it occurs.
- Praise your child, even for small things.
- It’s important to let your child know that there are a good treatment options to deal with traumatic events and feeling down. Find out together which therapy options are available and which ones might best suited.